The State of the School address was given last week at the inaugural Back to School Breakfast hosted by the Madison Chamber of Commerce.

Madison City Schools celebrates 25 years of an “outstanding” school district

MADISON – The Madison City School District Superintendent Dr. Ed Nichols marked the 25th anniversary of the school district with a State of the School address last week at the inaugural Back to School Breakfast hosted by the Madison Chamber of Commerce.

Nichols proudly declared in his address, “As superintendent of Madison City School, I want you to know that the state of your school district is outstanding.”

The Madison City School District was founded in 1998 by a small group of people who formed the first Madison City School Board at the behest of the city council. The new district was a response to the growth in the city that was forcing the Madison County School District to erect portable classrooms at many of the schools. With the county unable to keep up with the growing needs of the city, Madison residents took matters into their own hands and officially separated from the county school system on July 1, 1998.

Since then, the district has experienced phenomenal growth and associated itself with excellence in a number of areas. Over the last twenty-five years, the district has had four superintendents, beginning with Dr. Henry Clark and ending most recently with Dr. Ed Nichols who has held the role since succeeding Mr. Robby Parker (2017-2020) in 2020.

Dr. Nichols paid homage to his forbearers and urged Madison City School District staff to keep in mind the work of those who came before them, “I wanted to remind our team what it was like to be twenty-five, and what we thought about it. We had left our college years, those formative years, and like this school district, that’s where we are today. We’ve grown and we’re at a place today where we’ve got new challenges and new horizons, and I want them to remember that we stand on the shoulders of giants.”

Madison City School District now boasts a diverse student body of 12,545 students with over 59 different languages spoken across the student body, twenty-four percent having military ties, thirty-two national merit Semifinalists in the 2023 school year, and more. The 2023 class earned more than $69 million in scholarships, and 17% of last year’s class scored a 30 or higher on the ACT. The student body comprises 20% of the total Madison city population, outpacing the average percentage of 10%.

Behind these excellent students are excellent teachers, and Madison City School District has 100 teachers with National Board Certification, the highest certification for a teacher in the nation. The school district also financially invests in their students with competitive per-pupil spending. Nichols summed up, “We do more with less.”

Madison City Schools was recognized for its excellence by being named the number one school district in Alabama and 57th in the nation by NICHE.

In recent years, the school district has developed up-to-date cybersecurity programs and policies, and mental health aids. This year, the district has expanded its STEM and fine arts programs to be consistent courses available to students every semester. It opened the new Journey Middle School, renovated the playgrounds at all of the elementary schools, and transformed the former West Madison Elementary School into a pre-k center.

To mark the occasion of the school district’s 25th anniversary, Mayor Paul Finley issued a proclamation congratulating “everyone participating in the history of our school system, and their outstanding accomplishment and commend[ing] them for their excellent representation of Madison, Alabama.”

While the district has a lot to celebrate, it also has a bright future to look forward to with an eighth elementary, expansions of both James Clemens and Bob Jones High Schools, and more in the works as the district continues to grow towards its goal of 15,000 students.

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